We Are Here. (And So Are You.)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Heres something I think more people should know about:
This past Tuesday,Bus Driver (Regan Farquhar, pictured above) was scheduled to perform with Daedelus at Allston's own Harper's Ferry. What would have been a refreshing dose of hip hop was turned sour by a racist comment from Harper's sound guy that eventually caused the cancellation of the entire performance.
I just got off the phone with Regan and his DJ, Antimc (Matt Alsberg), to get the full story. Regan left the venue after load-in to have dinner with a boston friend over at Grasshopper, leaving Matt to deal with the sound guy and setting up on stage. After answering a few questions to the sound guy about their setup, "we need two DI-boxes, two mics, etc.", the sound guy
commented, "that's why you need a white guy in your crew." Matt, baffled at the absurdity of the comment, asked the sound guy to repeat himself, to which he replied by not only repeating the comment, but going on to say, "you know, we hired 6 [mumbled racist slur] in the past few months and they're all outta here!" Matt immediately ran to Harper's green room and talked to Regan on the phone, who after hearing the story called his booking agent who in turn called the manager of the club.
Regan came back and talked to the manager himself, who told Regan that they would tell the sound guy to "go home" and "thats not us". After a few minutes of awkwardly waiting around the club, the tour decided to pack up the van. This prompted the manager to come running out declaring, "the sound guy will never work at the club again! We'll have some one new come in!" and had to mention, "there were 50 presale tickets, it would be terrible to have to refund them...". The tour had a quick meeting and decided to cancel the show and leave.
Regan added, "It's something that catches you off gaurd, and you have to decide how to deal with it [...] and you don't know if you're being oversensitive or if it's just bullshit [...] you have to pick your battle. We could have gone on stage and said something like 'this club is racist' but we just decided to leave." Regan and Matt also expressed concern that the management was just telling the sound guy to go home and was not really fired.
Harper's Ferry has yet to return my calls to comment, but the truth is Harper's handled this situation too lightly! That sound guy should have been fired immediately! The fact that he was able to make that comment so comfortably in the club says A LOT about the club and its management. With the closing of Avalon and Axis, groups with larger draws that wont fit in places like Bill's bar, or Great Scott, or the Paradise are forced to play Harper's if they don't wanna deal with The Roxy or the Orpheum's high ticket prices. They have some growing up to do if they are to fill the shoes of a quality mid-sized rock club in Boston.